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The miniature paintings/Rajput paintings in Rajasthan developed during the medieval period. Read more about the development of miniature paintings in Rajasthan.

Home: Rajasthan: Culture: Paintings: Rajasthan Miniature Paintings

Rajasthan Miniature Paintings

Miniature painting is the most visible and widely prevalent type of painting, colorful pictures painted in glowing mineral and vegetable colors on hand-made papers. The miniature painter did not lack patronage. Seven styles in different kingdoms developed rapidly (the technique was similar to wall paintings, cloth and manuscripts illustrations) used initially manuscripts for text illustrations, they gradually evolved as portfolios of the life and times of their Royal patrons. The miniature tradition goes back at least to the 11th century. Later the Mughal influence though their style was of Mughal court style, yet the painters by the 17th century settled for traditional idioms and regional elements. And the modern miniature painting speaks of those age-old traditions of Rajasthan.

One of the largest ateliers in Rajasthan was to be found in Udaipur where progression in miniature art has been rapid. The main theme consisted of traditional texts that ranged from the Krishna Leela to the Ramayana and the Bhagvad Puran (epics of India).The Mewar school is celebrated for its strong colour emphasised along with the accentuated Mughal cross fertilization .

The Rathore Kingdoms tended to depict similar creative characteristics although they were often at loggerheads, which was rather synonymous to them. With creative expressions they become patrons of some of the greatest collection of Sanskrit and vernacular text and commissioned paintings on a generous scale. The Jodhpur artist merges their works with the traditional figures where the faces were accentuated and the eyes are large and curving (in what have come to be referred to as Jodhpuri eyes). The turbans work high and they portray a sense of vibrant energy. The backgrounds tend to be characteristic with thick rolling clouds.

The miniatures of Jaipur managed a very active and formal state of art. Akin to the Mughals in its use of background and court settings, the Jaipur styles differed in other subjects like the secular aspects, etc. The highlight of Jaipur School was its use of understated colors and the depiction of natural scenic views that were exceptional.

For sheer lyricism and romance, there is nothing that matches the sheer brilliance of the Kishangarh artist. Being a Rathore Kingdom the works were more or less similar to the house of Marwar. Under the patronage of Savant Singh the art developed a more advanced style. The image of Krishna and Radha took over a prominent style that later on become the most exceptionally attractive figures of miniature painting in the world. The famous Bani Thani was basically inspired by the Krishna- Radha images. The background shares the elaborate styling of Mughal paintings. The use of fine colors on the canvas contributed in ranking it among the finest expressions of work.

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